I basically have to admit that this watercolour or any other urban – watercolour that I have done has been difficult for me. I feel I am just learning the ropes, a total beginner but of course I have been painting these scenes for years. So I struggle and each time I learn something new. I am rarely happy with the end result but I am trying really hard to be kinder to myself. It is important to enjoy oneself after all.
This painting is a continuation of studies of Kungsgatan, a main street here in central Stockholm. 36 x 26 cm
I try to sketch everyday but of course life keeps getting in the way. This last week has been really busy, mostly seasonal stuff like getting the boat ready for launch and putting summer tyres on the car etc. The seasons are very clear here in Sweden. Half the year is dark and cold and the other half is light and warm(ish), simple. I continue to do some urban sketching. I painted this from a fuzzy iPhone photo I took while I was walking, I never bothered to stop, I just snapped off a bunch of pictures. It’s not a bad technique really, I got some interesting angles.
I wandered around the caravan park I was staying on the last day of my painting trip. The park was pretty empty, it was a day after the Easter weekend. I discovered this abandoned caravan tucked away in a corner, I thought the composition was wonderful so I took a few shots with my phone. I stumbled across the images again this morning when I was wondering what to paint. I decided to do a sketch first and I’m happy with the result. I must do a larger version of it very soon, I still feel it is a great composition.
I stayed at the Moby Dick Caravan Park very close to the centre of Calella. It was quiet and the family running the park were charming.
I am talking to myself when I say, “Sketches are so important”. It is so easy to just be lazy and start painting directly with a photo that is in front of you. We rarely succeed when shortcuts are taken, a photo needs to be interpreted, analysed and broken down. It needs to be simplified and elements moved or removed. So this is why doing a quick sketch beforehand is so important, we discover what should be done to achieve a good watercolour. In the perfect world I would prefer to sketch outdoors but that not possible here for a large part of the year, it’s minus degrees and windy here in Stockholm today. Next week I travel to Costa Brava in Spain for a week of sketching. More about that in an upcoming post.
I am finding this street scene a real challenge. I am enjoying it though, I basically have to paint kungsgatan several more times before I can be fully happy. This isn’t a bad watercolour, I just want to do it better. I guess that’s the artist’s curse, never totally content – always trying be better.
For Sale: €350
Title: Kungsgatan Technical information: Painted on the backside of Saunders Waterford Rough. 26 x 36 cm. I use W&N, Holbien and Daniel Smith paints.
After weeks of illness it is so nice to be watercolouring again. I was very frustrated not being well enough to paint but I am recovering and I feel a lot better now. I am very focused on improving myself these days so I throw myself into areas that are uncomfortable. Zones like portrait painting and urban scenes, I also feel I can improve a lot in the painting light. This what I am focused on this week.
I was very ill last week and I’m still recovering. The most frustrating thing about not being well is the inability to paint. It was a wonderful feeling therefore to do some portrait practice yesterday evening, it means I am feeling better and soon everything will be back to normal. This young girl uploaded her pouting face onto Sktchy App which is a great photo resource for portrait artists, the only negative is that everyone seems to pout their lips when they take selfies of themselves. A sign of the times. Saunders Waterford Sketchbook, 28 X 38 cm
I was very happy to have one of my paintings excepted into the annual National Watercolour Exhibition at the Edsvik Art Gallery. The watercolour is entitled, Västan – which is the name of the Stockholm ferry featured.
It’s interesting for me as this watercolour is two years old and as I am still developing as an artist it is very much from my past. It has a strong composition which is good but my technical skills have improved a lot since 2017. Another interesting fact is that this painting was exhibited at The Salamanca ECWS exhibition of 2017. I was so proud that I was chosen to represent Sweden in this European watercolour event.